The Haryana Police have arrested the man who shot at anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protestors near Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University last year for making a provocative speech at a mahapanchayat in Pataudi town, ANI reported on Monday. He was sent to judicial custody.
The police had filed a first information report against the man earlier in the day for his remarks at the event, The Indian Express reported.
Manesar Deputy Commissioner of Police Varun Singla told the newspaper that the he was charged under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code.
The communally-charged mahapanchayat was organised on July 4, reportedly to discuss the need for a population control law and “love jihad” – a pejorative term coined by the right-wing groups to push the conspiracy theory that Muslim men charm Hindu women into marrying them with the sole purpose of converting them to Islam.
In purported videos of his speech at the mahapanchayat, the man said: “When mullahs (a pejorative term for Muslims) are stabbed, they will scream the name of Ram.”
He also issued a threat to those with a “terrorist mindset”. “If I can travel 100 kilometres to Jamia in support of the CAA, then Pataudi is not very far,” he said, drawing cheers from the crowd.
A resident of Jamalpur village in Gurgaon had filed a complaint against the man, based on which the police registered an FIR, according to The Indian Express.
“On 04.07.2021 a mahapanchayat was organized at the Ramleela Ground, Pataudi where a man… gave quite a provocative speech which could have cause riots and ruined the law and order situation and this speech was inciting religious sentiments,” the complainant had alleged.
On January 30 last year, the man, with a pistol in his hand, had walked up to students protesting outside the Jamia Millia Islamia University. One person was injured as he opened fire at the crowd.
The man was reported to be 17 at that time. The Juvenile Justice Board sent him to 28-day protective custody at a correctional facility in January.